Why financial advisers should do CPD
If financial advisers don't take continuing professional development (CPD) requirements seriously they run the risk of having possibly inappropriate training courses forced upon them or being forced to belong to qualifying financial entities (QFEs).
Thursday, May 31st 2012, 6:00AM 5 Comments
by Jenny Ruth
Professional Advisers Association(PAA) professional development manager Jenny Campbell says that QFEs, such as banks and insurance companies, “are spending millions of dollars training their advisers."
"They're taking CPD very seriously. If we have all of us largely free-range advisers not doing training, who do you think the regulators are going to look at?
“The regulators have given us a really long piece of rope” and have been encouraging the industry to establish its own training framework.
“Otherwise, we're an endangered species as independent advisers and we will end up as part of a QFE or an alligned adviser,” Campbell says.
Currently, the regulators have given professional associations the ability to design and implement their own training programs. “Nobody knows our business better than our members,” she says.
“It would be absolutely dreadful if we ended up getting mandated training designed by bureaucrats or university professors who might know about the theory but know nothing about the practicalities of the business,” she says.
“If we don't do this well and with rigor, they will take this ability away from us,” Campbell says, adding that exactly that happened to real estate agents.
Many advisers are still confused or believe a number of myths about how much CPD they need to do in order to comply with the Financial Advisers Act, Campbell says.
For example, some believe only authorised financial advisers (AFAs) need to do CPD and registered financial advisers (RFAs) don't have to.
However, all financial advisers are covered by section 33 of the Act which requires them to “exercise care, diligence and skill.”
The Financial Markets Authority (FMA), “our policemen,” has said advisers should keep records demonstrating how they have fulfilled that requrement, Campbell says.
“How do we demonstrate this care and diligence and skill? The easiest and most effective way is to participate in CPD training and keep an up to date register,” she says.
The minimum standard is 20 hours a year, 10 of them “structured,” which involves some sort of test or exam, something to prove the adviser attended training “and you can prove you were awake,” and 10 “unstructured” hours which can be anything from reading industry publications to professional development courses.
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